A Southern staple as iconic as this deserves to be flawlessly fried every time
- 2 pounds green tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick and seeded
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- Hot sauce, to serve
- Garnish: sea salt flakes
- Arrange tomatoes on a double layer of paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt; let stand for 30 minutes. Pat tomatoes dry with paper towels.
- In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of 1 inch; heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360°. Place cornstarch, eggs, and cornmeal into three separate shallow dishes. Stir Cajun seasoning into cornmeal. Dredge tomato slices, one at a time, in cornstarch, shaking off excess. Dip tomato slices in egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge in cornmeal mixture, gently shaking off excess.
- Working in batches, fry tomatoes until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Serve with hot sauce. Garnish with sea salt flakes, if desired.
1 LOSE THE SEEDS
Just dig on in there with your fingers and remove the tomato seeds and the jelly that surrounds them. You can toss the seeds or dry them out on paper towels for planting.
2 PULL OUT LIQUID WITH SALT
Salting watery raw vegetables (like tomatoes and eggplants) can draw out some of the liquid that would otherwise reduce the crispiness of the final product.
3 DREDGE WITH CORNSTARCH
Starting the dredge with cornstarch creates a barrier between the juicy tomato and the crunchy cornmeal crust.